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Kinetic Element - 2019 - "The Face of Life"

(70:33, Melodic Revolution Records)


*****
    

TRACK LIST:                 

1. Epistle 7:06
2. All Open Eyes 15:52
3. The Face of Life 19:35
4. Last Words 4:07
5. Lost Words 2:55

LINEUP:

Mike Visaggio - keyboards
Michael Murray - drums
Mark Tupko - bass
Peter Matuchniak - guitars
Saint John Coleman - vocals
With:
Yvan Matteau - percussion

Prolusion. US band KINETIC ELEMENT was formed back in 2006, as chance then made it possible for composer and main man Mike Visaggio to form a band around his music. Three albums have see then light of day since then, and "The Face of Light", released in 2019 through US label Melodic Revolution Records, is the most recent of these.

Analysis. One of the elements that I guess have slowed down the development of Kinetic Element over the years is that a stable, ongoing band have yet to be found for this venture. With musicians coming and going, managing to develop music that enables everyone to play to their strengths is, if not impossible then at least challenging. As this is something that has an effect also on composing and developing a song, main man Visaggio will most likely have had a few headaches over this I'd imagine. With the band's previous album "Travelog" Kinetic Element managed to make a name for themselves that made them a bit more than one of the many bands solely lurking in the niche underground. They got a few festival spots, plenty of fine reviews, and in general enough attention drawn to themselves to make them a band were the sentences about the new album being eagerly expected has more of a truth to it than in other places I have seen it. And those who know and love that album from a few years back, they will most likely feel right at home with "The Face of Life" as well. Old school symphonic progressive rock is the name of the game here, with liberal amounts of layered keyboards, the occasional Mellotron-vibes flavoring the arrangements here and there as well as the calmer sections with more room for an instrument like the piano. References back to both classical and, if I hear correctly, classical religious music are very much in place to, with the instrumentalists given the occasional transition passage and then some for the more expressive details. New man Matuchniak adds a bit of flair to the proceedings as well, with both more blues-oriented atmospheric laden escapades and tighter, more energetic details with arguably more of a funky flair to them. The bass guitar is nice, loud and booming, and in new singer Coleman they have a vocalist with a fine, melodic voice. Everything doesn't click perfectly into place though. Coleman sounds like he is on waters a tad too deep at times on the otherwise brilliant opener Epistle, while the two epic length compositions suffers a bit from being just a bit too safe and pleasant at times, and then All Open Eyes in particular. The epilogue track Last Words doesn't bring all that much to the table either, neither in it's original form or in the rearranged form of bonus track Lost Words. Not that they are weak creations by any means, but they are merely good as far as I'm concerned, rather than great or brilliant. But those that know and love the band will get their fill and be happy, as well as many that love and treasure classic era symphonic progressive rock. A few vocal and instrumental tips of the hat to good, old Yes one of the many features that will please a certain section of the buying audience for this specific type of music.

Conclusion. There appears to be a growing cadre of bands that has a desire to explore the symphonic progressive rock of yesteryear. Visaggio has been doing this for quite some time now, both as a solo artist as well as with his band Kinetic Element. Those who know and love this band will be happy with this album, as will many with a general interest in this specific variety of symphonic progressive rock. In this case and for this album, I also think that the music is geared slightly more towards the accessible and slightly less towards the more expressive varieties of the style. A fine companion piece to the band's previous album. Perhaps not quite at the same level, but this is much depending on personal taste as well. Cue the use of the words accessible and expressive.

Progmessor: February 24th, 2019
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Kinetic Element


Melodic Revolution Records


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